Album Reviews

Duke Garwood – Heavy Love – Album Review

Duke Garwood

Duke Garwood – Heavy Love – Album Review by Killian Laher

Blues guitarist Duke Garwood has achieved recent acclaim through his work with Mark Lanegan, so it is perhaps opportune that he has just released his fifth album. For newcomers to his music, Garwood is a master at creating an unhurried, brooding, swaying atmosphere with all manner of understated sounds bubbling under the surface. Here we get ten repetitive grooves which exude a subtle menace, right from opener Some Times. The album is dominated by Garwood’s enjoyably wobbly guitar playing and somewhat rambling vocal style, where it seems like some tracks might fall apart but never do. The taut rhythm of the title track keeps proceedings on an even keel on a track which will appeal to fans of Garwood’s excellent collaboration with Mark Lanegan, Black Pudding.

Disco Lights is one of the finer tracks here. Don’t be fooled by the title, it’s a night time tale of darkness with a smooth little vocal turn by Petra Jean Phillipson. Garwood has a skilled yet unshowy way with his guitar (Sweet Wine, Roses), while elsewhere tracks like Snake Man and Suppertime In Hell slink by with an amiable shuffle, the latter evoking Jimi Hendrix at his most restrained. At times Garwood is inclined to noodle about on guitar a little more than necessary (Burning Seas), but generally, what seems shambling and all over the place in a live setting works quite well on the album. The instruments are expertly recorded with a little help from Alain Johannes and Mark Lanegan, making Heavy Love a rewarding listen. Indeed, for those who miss Lanegan’s nineties, stripped-back solo material, this album will be a comfort.

Track List –

1. Some Times
2. Heavy Love
3. Burning Seas
4. Disco Lights
5. Sweet Wine
6. Snake Man
7. Suppertime In Hell
8. Honey In My Ear
9. Roses
10. Hawaiian Death Ballad



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